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Do Professional Issues Hurt Your Personal Life? - Column #157

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

In my last column, I elaborated on several potential negative side effects associated with bringing personal baggage to work. I described how even long-term top performers can stumble and fall when they’re unable to effectively manage personal issues in the workplace. I also explored the domino effect these uncontrolled issues can have on fellow team members, customers and the business as a whole.

In this column, I’ll look at the other side of the coin. When people bring their professional baggage home, their personal lives are affected in very real ways. The ripple effects are felt far and wide. The adverse effects of this situation can damage and even destroy marriages, alienate children and cause others to avoid these unhappy, negative and often angry people. Perhaps you know a spouse, child or friend of someone who’s unable — or simply lacks the tools — to manage their professional lives effectively.

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Do Personal Issues Sabotage Your Professional Success? - Column #156

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Some like to believe a distinctive barrier separates our personal and professional lives. If you step back and take an honest look at your experiences and those of others you’ve worked with, that’s clearly not the case. It’s common, in fact, for people to lug their personal baggage through the front door of a business, unpack and spread it around the workplace.

Each of us travels between two connected worlds — personal and professional. When there’s balance, contentment, purpose, success and happiness in life outside business, the attitudes and behaviors people bring to the workplace are different than when this is not their reality.

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Do Your Customers Enjoy A Quality Experience? - Column #155

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

With every transaction and interaction, a business gives its customers a good, neutral or bad feeling. The last two have no place in a thriving company. The first is a necessary component to happiness and success.

In all likelihood, you can recall some experiences as a consumer that left you with good, if not a great, feelings. The value you received during these interactions endeared you to these companies, creating loyalty and repeat business. You felt your money and time was well spent, and you walked away with a satisfied and happy feeling.

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Do You Consistently Get All The Little Things Right? - Column #154

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Companies that make it their business to foster happiness in their customers are the most enlightened and successful of all. Business operations are, first and foremost, about serving people and ensuring their satisfaction. Increasing the happiness, pleasure and fulfillment of the patrons who support you with their hard-earned dollars builds a base of loyal and referring customers.

One of the biggest differences between creating raving fans of your customers and not is getting the little things right on a consistent basis. Just a moment of reflection on your own experiences will reveal your favorite businesses — the ones you frequent often and enthusiastically tell others about — are those that consistently go the extra mile to provide you with a happy and satisfied feeling.

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Can Your Business Run Effectively Without You? - Column #153

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Entrepreneurs launch companies not only to create greater wealth, freedom and happiness, but also exert more control over their destinies. They dream of achieving professional, financial and personal independence and in doing so travel, relax, give back and enjoy their lives as much as possible.

For many business owners, however, the dream remains just that because they lack the mindset, people and processes to make it a reality. Key factors make it difficult for a business to run effectively without the constant, hands-on presence of the owner. Understanding these circumstances and making the necessary adjustments will position you to achieve your dreams.

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Ready To Enhance Your Team’s Skills And Mindset In 2018? - Column #152

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

People are at the core of successful companies. The strength of their mindset combined with their skills allow them to operate at their highest levels on a consistent basis.

Human capability expands, contracts or remains static depending on whether it receives the stimulation it needs to grow and develop or not. The phrase “I’m in a rut” is born of an individual’s languishing potential. Owners, team members and businesses get in ruts, too. This must be overcome if they are to expand their potential.

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Have You Learned To Let Go And Delegate Effectively? - Column #151

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

A crucial step in the direction of greater happiness and success in business is learning to let go and delegate effectively, empowering everyone involved to do more and be more.

As a business owner, you have two options: You can create a job for yourself or truly lead your company. There’s a distinct difference between the two choices. In the first scenario, you’re doing daily tasks that easily could be handled by your fellow management and team members — tasks that take precious time you could use to be the visionary, innovator and leader of your business.

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Are “Bad Apples” Spoiling Your Business Operations? - Column #150

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Most businesses employ skilled team members, many with decent and even great attitudes. These individuals come to work, perform their jobs to a satisfactory level or above and contribute to the work environment in positive ways. But what about team members who have the skills to do their jobs, yet constitute a drag on the culture and, therefore, the business? Chances are, you’re thinking about those people right now.

Business owners tolerate “bad apples” because it’s expensive and time consuming to hire and train new people. This is especially true if these team members bring in large amounts of business, work in positions essential to operations or their knowledge of the business is extensive or proprietary. Under these circumstances, business owners often feel held hostage by these team members, which keeps them from taking necessary corrective action.

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Listen With Integrity To Build Successful Relationships - Column #149

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Ineffective communication presents the largest obstacle to any successful professional or personal relationship, and it all begins with listening. Not truly listening to others and ineffective communication are often at the heart of dysfunctional businesses, disgruntled team members, unsatisfied clients, failed marriages, disassociation with loved ones, frustration and anger, to name only a few. The truth is, we all want to be heard.

Consider your life and relationships to understand the importance of communication. In those relationships you find most rewarding, fulfilling and successful, you feel heard and communication is more effective than not. Conversely, when you consider your relationships that are the most unsettling; cause the most frustration, suffering and dissatisfaction; and are least successful, you don’t feel heard.  Communication is so limited in its effectiveness the relationship suffers as a result.

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What’s Your Management Style? Leader or Boss? - Column #148

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

There’s a vast difference between being a leader and a boss. A leader influences, collaborates, guides, mentors and supports others to encourage movement in a desired direction. Conversely, a boss lords over others, controlling, domineering and relying on fear and intimidation to get ever more out of the individuals he or she oversees.

If you’re like most people, you’ve worked for a variety of business owners and managers. Undoubtedly, a few clearly stand out in your mind as people you enjoyed working for, while others created an unsavory work environment. It’s also likely there’s no doubt in your mind about the type of person for which you’d rather work.

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Does A Team Member Hold You Hostage? - Column #147

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Every company has team members who hold positions critical to daily operations. While these individuals might fill important roles, they also could contribute to a negative work environment. They might not fully support company philosophies, objectives and goals. In fact, they actually could hinder the progress of the organization with their bad attitudes, gossip and dishonesty.

It’s typically believed if these team members were to leave or be let go, the business would suffer. This is a situation in which these team members hold a business hostage, but it need not be the case.

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